After spending the better part of a decade managing the technical production needs of live concerts and tours, art exhibits, plays and cultural festivals, I realized that what I really loved was my side gig writing about New Orleans music for Rolling Stone. So I quit my job and moved to New York, where I got an M.S. in Journalism at Columbia University.
Thanks to stints as a reporter for People, and as an editor for outlets as varied as CMJ, Bob Marley’s official website and MSN.com’s Entertainment section, my interests and expertise run the gamut from jazz to reggae to rock to making fun of famous folks. I’ve grilled Eliot Spitzer on whether he truly rooted out “pay for play” policies at the major labels, mined ?uestlove’s endless archive of James Brown factoids and gathered music industry updates from some of its founders, such as George Wein and Clive Davis.
But the stories I have always wanted to tell are those pertaining to New Orleans’ culture. I moved back to the Crescent City in 2010, and while I continue to edit pop culture content for MSN’s entertainment section, I spend most of my time covering the New Orleans brass band and jazz scenes for DownBeat and OffBeat magazines, while occasionally writing essays like the pieces on Preservation Hall and the Mother-in-Law Lounge that appear in the book, “What Can’t Be Lost: 88 Stories and Traditions from the Sacred City.” In 2012, I initiated the formation of a local branch of the Jazz Journalists Association in New Orleans, where I coordinate events including the presentation of the association’s annual Jazz Heroes Awards and monthly meetups.